View Full Version : Cutting New Trails-- How do you do it ?
November 18th, 2002, 06:56 PM
Me and Some buddies ride up in marlboro at lunch on some land that is for sale ( and has been for a while ) it is commercial real estate, and there is 1 trail going through it. ( and at least 1 deer stand ) So we were thinking about cutting 1 or 2 more trails. Yes I know it is probably illegal, and that is our worry. But we feel if we are going to cut a new trail ore 2 we want to cut them right, not make a Butcher job. I mean what should we look for , avoid , how to cut the trail, keep erosion to a minimum , etc ,etc .
November 18th, 2002, 08:58 PM
This has been a great year for putting in new trails. We have put a bunch in all over New England. The first step in putting in a new trail is to meet with the land manager or land owner and get their buy in. If it is privately owned and that land manager is concerned about liability, you can point out to them that in Massachusetts they are not liable if somebody gets hurt on a trail on their property that is open for public use unless their is some form of malice on their part.
The next step would be to try and figure out where you want the trail to go. Look for interesting features. Views are popular features but at Lynn we recently put in a trail that used all of the cool rock outcroppings as trailside stunts and at Great Brook PK ran the trail next to a whole bunch of boulders that were real interesting.
Now that you know where the trail wants to go you need to connect the dots. A plan is helpful for this but you also need to walk the trails and scope things out. The trial should never run straight up the side of a hill but should always run so that its rise is only half as steep as the fall line of the hill. Also avoid areas where water sits and geographical features such as vernal pools. To make the trail most useable, avoid rises more than 10%. If you own a clinometer it is wise to use one when laying out the trail.
Putting the trail in is the easy part. I think most everybody has been involved in helping out on one of our maintenance days. If not then consider attending one before taking something like this on.
The most important thing to remember is to keep the land manager or land owner in the loop the whole time. If you do something that they don't like then they are likely to ban biking all together. Try contacting your local NEMBA chapter for help. There is tons of expertise there. Good luck.
November 19th, 2002, 07:37 AM
Yes I know it is probably illegal, and that is our worry.
Get permission, Splat. Hit the Malboro town office and see who owns the land. They should be able to give you the address and phone number of the owner. IMBA did a study and surveyed a whole lot of land owners and land managers and concluded that the biggest threat to mountain biking access is illegal trail building. So we are our own worst enemy!
You may not think that this land is actively managed but the deerstand owner could be the land owner and if so, visit the piece more often then you think. A new trail or two will be very obvious to them and could piss them off to no end.
So if you like riding what's there, ask permission to make more. Otherwise you may encounter dirt piles and no trespassing signs on your next ride and then you'll have another decision to make!
November 21st, 2002, 08:28 PM
Get the IMBA book Building Better Trails. Better yet, attend one of their schools. I have gone to two, one at Massabesic and one at Lynn, and they were excellent.
And yeah, please get permission.
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